BEVERLY HILLS, July 17, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, on Friday said it has taken two persons into custody following the Death of Nigeria’s first and only female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, 24, who died from injuries sustained in a freak car accident inside the NAF base in Kaduna last Tuesday.
The fallen officer has been scheduled for burial on Thursday, July 23, at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, with full military honours.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the Air Force has launched an Investigation into the circumstances leading to her death. THEWILL recalls that her family and a Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere had called for an investigation into her death, saying they suspected foul play.
The Air Force had previously said she died from serious head wounds sustained when she was hit by the “reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force secondary school classmate while trying to greet her.”
“The two boys are in custody and the NAF will do a thorough investigation into the matter. It is a routine process – our own processes that are ongoing because it happened inside a NAF base. At the appropriate time, whatever information needs to go out will go out. But we cannot preempt that investigation process.
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“Whatever needs to be known will be known; it is standard practice. So, we are investigating the circumstances leading to her death by a road traffic accident. It is an investigation because it may go beyond NAF,” the spokesman to The Punch in an interview.
Arotile was a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64.